• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Megan Blocker

eG Foodblog: Megan Blocker - Food and the City

307 posts in this topic

Let's see your brulee tool, Megan! (I use a huge propane torch)

No probs, Susan...I actually have this model, which was a Christmas gift this year from my friends Nick and Louisa. I'd heard mixed things about it on eGullet, but it's worked perfectly for me. I love playing with fire! :laugh:

Actually, when I called Louisa to say thank you, she mentioned that she was a bit apprehensive about giving me the torch, because I have a tendency to be a little...accident prone. You might call it clumsy. In fact, I have had two clumsy moments since the beginning of the blog - I smashed a water glass on the first morning, as I was on my way out the door to meet my mother for breakfast. This is why I buy the $2.00 water glasses from Pottery Barn.

Then, as I was cutting up the sweetbreads, I dropped my knife :shock:, but it landed, without incident, a few inches from my feet. I rarely cut myself while cooking, but I manage to break stuff (not bones - glasses, plates, etc.) all the time. :blush:

It's funny, too - I feel so graceful and in control when I cook, and then it's all "blam!" There goes a wine glass... :wink:


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anything people would like to see me eat for lunch or dinner tomorrow?  I'm thinking of making breakfast for dinner tomorrow night, in celebration of Gilmore Girls - I feel like they would eat breakfast for dinner.  Pancakes or french toast, people?  Let me know what you think...

Pop Tarts, of course! (Untoasted, in honor of season 1 when the toaster broke and Lorelei compared it to living in hell ...)

Megan, this is a great blog. I'm enjoying looking at your life from up this way. You've got quite a gift! Your blog is making me miss a couple of things about being 25 again and one is the ability to whoop it up all night and recover in a few hours. Keep on going, girl!

Fab.


"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's what brings it home:  when I was about 23 - so not that much younger than you are now - I threw a dinner party for some friends.  It was a fondue party.  There were dipping sauces.  I've forgotten most of them: they were good, so not worthy of a story.  One sauce, however, called for 3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely.  I started on the first clove.  I peeled, and chopped, and peeled, and chopped, and peeled and chopped some more.  Then the second clove.  Finally, partway through the second "clove" of garlic, I decided enough was enough, and I stopped, and made the dipping sauce with that half-amount of garlic.

Everybody, including me, took one taste of that sauce and politely left it alone after that.  I've never had anything with so much garlic heat, before or since.

You've figured out by now, I hope, that what I thought was a clove of garlic was actually a head of garlic?  Whew.  That was a LOT of garlic.   :blink:

I look at how you cook and eat, and your age, and how I cooked and ate at that age, and I think: you're at least 10 years ahead of me on your knowledge, your savoir-faire.  How wonderful!

Way to go, girl!  And great blog!  Thanks!   :biggrin:

Smith, that is such an awesome story...I mean, I love garlic, but I don't think even I could have eaten that fondue sauce. :laugh:

Thank you for the compliments. It's so nice to hear that you all think I'm on the right track. I have a tendency to think I'm way behind when it comes to most things in life, so if my cooking skills are doing ok, that's one less thing to worry about. :wink:

And thank you, Lucy and Rachel - I've loved doing this blog, and I'm so glad you enjoyed reading it...both of you are such wonderful writers, and having both of you say you like what I've been doing is very flattering. :blush: And, Lucy, I'm glad you liked your chicken Milanese, too!


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anything people would like to see me eat for lunch or dinner tomorrow?  I'm thinking of making breakfast for dinner tomorrow night, in celebration of Gilmore Girls - I feel like they would eat breakfast for dinner.  Pancakes or french toast, people?  Let me know what you think...

Pop Tarts, of course! (Untoasted, in honor of season 1 when the toaster broke and Lorelei compared it to living in hell ...)

Megan, this is a great blog. I'm enjoying looking at your life from up this way. You've got quite a gift! Your blog is making me miss a couple of things about being 25 again and one is the ability to whoop it up all night and recover in a few hours. Keep on going, girl!

Fab.

OMG, Pop Tarts!!!! :laugh: Maybe those can be the starter...

Thanks, FFB - next time you're in New York City, I'll be sure to share some recovery tips with you. Till then, repeat after me - water, ibuprofen, sleep, water, ibuprofen, Diet Coke. I'm telling you - magical. :wink:


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anything people would like to see me eat for lunch or dinner tomorrow?  I'm thinking of making breakfast for dinner tomorrow night, in celebration of Gilmore Girls - I feel like they would eat breakfast for dinner.  Pancakes or french toast, people?  Let me know what you think...

Pop Tarts, of course! (Untoasted, in honor of season 1 when the toaster broke and Lorelei compared it to living in hell ...)

OMG, Pop Tarts!!!! :laugh: Maybe those can be the starter...

No, I think pizza with tater tots on top with a side of pop tarts!!! :raz:


"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anything people would like to see me eat for lunch or dinner tomorrow?  I'm thinking of making breakfast for dinner tomorrow night, in celebration of Gilmore Girls - I feel like they would eat breakfast for dinner.  Pancakes or french toast, people?  Let me know what you think...

Pop Tarts, of course! (Untoasted, in honor of season 1 when the toaster broke and Lorelei compared it to living in hell ...)

OMG, Pop Tarts!!!! :laugh: Maybe those can be the starter...

Sausage wrapped in pancakes, tied together with bacon. That's what Luke made for Rory when she left for Yale. Gee, I'm such a geek.


Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anything people would like to see me eat for lunch or dinner tomorrow?  I'm thinking of making breakfast for dinner tomorrow night, in celebration of Gilmore Girls - I feel like they would eat breakfast for dinner.

Glad to see you like our GG's--we love all three generations. Anything involving stacked-up sweet stuff..pancakes, waffles (Eggo's in their case), muffins or doughnuts. But be sure to make lots of substitutions in the recipes.

Endless coffee in a cup big enough to bathe a baby in.

Eggs in any form. Devilled eggs, even---you never know when a snarky person will be driving by.

I don't want this to be over. Stay another week :wub:


Edited by racheld (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sausage wrapped in pancakes, tied together with bacon.  That's what Luke made for Rory when she left for Yale.  Gee, I'm such a geek.

Holy crap. I think I'd have to run that one by the cardiologist. And I don't even have a cardiologist. Yet. :laugh:

That said, I do have some fingerling potatoes left from Saturday night...so maybe a homemade hashbrown/mini-latke could be in the offing. Keep it coming, people, keep it coming.

You guys are amazing.


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You'd better let me know next time you're in town, sneaky miss!
Will do. We’re actually in town at least once a month getting our NY fix.
Ooh, and for the petless New Yorker, you can always visit a dog park. I used to spend part of my lunch hour oohing the puppies at the nearby dog park.

I used to do this all the time when I worked on Madison Square Park! :laugh:

Went there too. My husband used to work near the park, so if I was having lunch with him, we’d go there. It also gave me an excuse to go to the pre-Shake Shack hot dog cart. :wub:

Yes, I've discovered that the trick is to go into Pegu with only an hour or two left before your dinner reservation...it's the only way to make it out alive. :laugh:

I would beg to differ :wink:

I agree. That only gives you less of window to drink, which means you have to cram in more drinks in a shorter period of time. *hic.*

gallery_28660_2588_32582.jpg

My sandwich was pulled duck confit, and was served on ciabatta with three-sprout salad, young pickles, and garlic-pommery mustard dressing (I don't like boiled eggs, and asked that they leave them off).  I loved it - the pickles gave a nice crunch, and the dressing was delicious.  The duck was moist and flavorful, and the bread had stayed resonably crispy and even warm on its trip over from Lexington.  I was not surprised that the sandwich was so good, given my earlier experiences at Starwich.

However.

I was really disappointed with the service.  We ordered at 12:30, and our sandwiches did not arrive until after 2:00.  And when the delivery man finally arrived, he had no change whatsoever.  I would much rather have spent ten minutes walking there and back than waiting an hour and a half for lunch.  Plus, they put an egg on the sandwich, even though I asked for none - there was only one, and I get the feeling that whoever made the sandwich realized that the order said "no eggs" and took off what they'd put on, but missed one.

I will definitely go back to Starwich, but I don't think I'll order delivery again. :sad:

That’s one good looking sandwich. Could the weather have affected delivery, since it was so darn cold that everyone was ordering in? I went to my local deli for lunch yesterday, and they were so swamped between take-out orders and deliveries that it took a long time to get my soup. In fact they forgot about it, and I had to remind them. (Hey, it's just ladle into a cup and put a lid on. Not that hard.)

I love your dinners. I don’t think I’m allowed to have a brulee torch. I was eyeing that exact one at Williams-Sonoma once, and being a self-proclaimed klutz, was not-so gently steered away.


Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One sauce, however, called for 3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely.  I started on the first clove.  I peeled, and chopped, and peeled, and chopped, and peeled and chopped some more.  Then the second clove.  Finally, partway through the second "clove" of garlic, I decided enough was enough, and I stopped, and made the dipping sauce with that half-amount of garlic.

Everybody, including me, took one taste of that sauce and politely left it alone after that.  I've never had anything with so much garlic heat, before or since.

You've figured out by now, I hope, that what I thought was a clove of garlic was actually a head of garlic?  Whew.  That was a LOT of garlic.  :blink:

A friend of mine, Michael, whose family operated an Italian restaurant, was going to make his mother's famous sugo for his college roommates. He called her on the phone and faithfully recorded her recipe.

With much fanfare, he set out to prepare for a spaghetti feast at the frat house the coming weekend. Although he'd worked in the family restaurant since he was very young, he'd never been entrusted with making sauce, so he was careful to follow his mother's instructions to the letter.

Unfortunately his handwriting wasn't very clear, and when setting up his mise en place he read 5-6 cloves as, yes, 56 cloves! (He says he remembers thinking this was odd, but diligently counted out exactly that number of cloves.)

You can only inagine how the sugo might have tasted, which is all anybody did at the time. The sweet clove smell so thoroughly infused the frat house that everybody was afraid to even taste the sauce.

Michael called his Mother for advice. He read back the recipe he's copied down. When he came to "56 cloves" she exclaimed, "Michael! That was supposed to be five or six cloves. My God! Pour that sauce out before somebody eats it! :shock:

So, although the frat house spaghetti feed ended up with just a slightly doctored Ragu for sauce, enough wine and beer was consumed along with it that the dinner was deemed a huge success. :laugh:

In addition, the lingering clove odor precluded the need to burn any insense to mask the fumes given off by another uniquely pungent botanical product popular with college students of the times. :wink:

SB (and Michael and his family are still in the restaurant business, reputations intact) :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey! I'll be watching the Gilmore Girls tonight too! Ofcourse, we are probably many sesaons behind, and your evening does not coincide with mine anyway, but still, I'll be thinking of you!

I love love love this blog. I've been trying to think what's so special about it. I think it's the feeling of hospitality that runs through it.. even while you are showing us your city, they way you see it, the way you love it, I feel like I am actually visiting you, and getting to know you.

And the pictures are really, really beautiful. That picture of the finished chicken with the salad on top.. wow.

Thank you Megan!! :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Too bad about the delivery service, Megan.  (I wonder if Spiro is reading.)  Anyway, I would probably react as you did, since it was good -- continue to be a customer, but not for delivery.  Unless, you contact them about it and perhaps they would comp. you, and you would try again.  The sandwich insides looked like they were tucked in there nicely, instead of hanging all out.  So, well constructed and good tasting... sounds good!

Could the weather have affected delivery, since it was so darn cold that everyone was ordering in? I went to my local deli for lunch yesterday, and they were so swamped between take-out orders and deliveries that it took a long time to get my soup. In fact they forgot about it, and I had to remind them. (Hey, it's just ladle into a cup and put a lid on. Not that hard.)

Definitely a possibility, Karen...the weather could have caused the delay, but it certainly shouldn't have caused the lack of change or the mess-up on the egg - and I also forgot one thing, which was that the food came without a receipt, and the delivery guy had to call the shop to find out what the price was. Given the incredibly high level of service I've experienced in their stores, my guess is that the kinks in the delivery service just haven't been worked out yet.

I did call them to check on the delivery, and they were very nice about it...but no offer of a comp. Then again, I'm too nice, and would never let them know how mad I really was. That's the thick-skinned, overly proud Yankee in me.


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog. Thanks Megan!

We (my husband & I ) are heading to New York for Easter. This blog is going to be a fantastic reference point. Last time we couldn't get reservations for Babbo, so we went to Casa Mono instead. We really enjoyed it. Hopefully we can get a table for Babbo this time. We will of course have to stop in Pegu Club for some cocktails beforehand, in your honour.

Are there any special events or parades etc that happen in the city over Easter?

Thanks again for putting so much time into a really fantastic blog.

Jenny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog.  Thanks Megan!

We (my husband & I ) are heading to New York for Easter.  This blog is going to be a fantastic reference point.  Last time we couldn't get reservations for Babbo, so we went to Casa Mono instead.  We really enjoyed it.  Hopefully we can get a table for Babbo this time.  We will of course have to stop in Pegu Club for some cocktails beforehand, in your honour.

Are there any special events or parades etc that happen in the city over Easter?

Thanks again for putting so much time into a really fantastic blog.

Jenny

You're very welcome, Jenny - I'm glad you're enjoying it! :smile:

As for Easter, yes, we do have an Easter Parade. Here are some details for you to check out...basically, it's an opportunity for people to wear crazy-ass hats in public. :wink: There's also an egg roll in Central Park, which is probably really fun, and beautiful, given that it's near Bethesda Fountain, one of my favorite spots to have coffee on a spring morning.

Oh, now I'm sad that I didn't take you all to Central Park... :sad:

Definitely try for a Babbo reservation - they're relatively easy to get, especially in the middle of the week. Just try to call the first or second day they're available (they only book a month in advance), and you should be fine.


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have you visited the Central Park Conservancy at 105th & 5th?  It's a little off the beaten path for tourists and New Yorkers alike, but it's a genuine oasis within the oasis of Central Park, and I'd like to see what it looks like this time of year.

As for Central Park Conservancy - yes, I have been, but only once! :  Almost two years ago we had a gorgeous early summer day, and my friend Miles and I walked from 77th and 3rd up to 105th and 5th - and ran into a high school friend of mine on the bridle path in Central Park! The Conservancy was beautiful, and I can't believe I haven't been back. It was relatively crowded, since it was the first really nice day that year, and since it was a Sunday, but I can imagine how peaceful it might be on a day like today...

So, Miles has just chucked me upside the head (virtually, via email) and reminded me that I'm thinking of the Conservatory Garden, not the Central Park Conservancy, which is actually the not-for-profit group that looks after the park. Oops. :wink:


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have you visited the Central Park Conservancy at 105th & 5th?  It's a little off the beaten path for tourists and New Yorkers alike, but it's a genuine oasis within the oasis of Central Park, and I'd like to see what it looks like this time of year.

As for Central Park Conservancy - yes, I have been, but only once! :  Almost two years ago we had a gorgeous early summer day, and my friend Miles and I walked from 77th and 3rd up to 105th and 5th - and ran into a high school friend of mine on the bridle path in Central Park! The Conservancy was beautiful, and I can't believe I haven't been back. It was relatively crowded, since it was the first really nice day that year, and since it was a Sunday, but I can imagine how peaceful it might be on a day like today...

So, Miles has just chucked me upside the head (virtually, via email) and reminded me that I'm thinking of the Conservatory Garden, not the Central Park Conservancy, which is actually the not-for-profit group that looks after the park. Oops. :wink:

Yeah, I meant the Conservatory Garden. My bad.


Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just been reading the last day's worth to DD, who just came home from her early shift at her bakery. She's gonna read it all later today.

THEN she came over and waved a wedge of fresh warm focaccia under my nose, reciting "olives, thin onion, brushed with garlic butter before baking, scatter of seasalt."

They gotta get us a drool smilie!! Or at least a swoony one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oooooh, fresh focaccia! Would that I worked near a good bakery...

One of the best meals anyone has ever made for me was in the middle of one of the oddest hot spells (in the 90's in April) on record in New York. We had fresh-baked focaccia, roasted asparagus and peppers, the most delicious aioli to dip it all in and spread it all with, and a gorgeous bottle of icy wine (don't remember what) to wash it all down. God, that was good.

I'm off now to grab lunch at Europa Cafe, just up the street...may do a little window shopping, too. :wink: I think a salad is in order, given my breakfast (which I'll post tonight!) and the anticipated pancake-hashbrown-maple-syrup-covered-Gilmore-Girls themed food orgy I'm now undertaking for dinner.

Wow, you people are terrible influences. :laugh:


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Megan, I think that it would be great if we could just give you a head cam and mike set up for whenever you leave your apartment for an outing, or go into the kitchen to make a meal! We could all just watch, every day, as you go about your various food related activities... it would be great fun, and once in awhile you could look down, and we could compare shoes for the day, too! :laugh:


More Than Salt

Visit Our Cape Coop Blog

Cure Cutaneous Lymphoma

Join the DarkSide---------------------------> DarkSide Member #006-03-09-06

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Megan,

Your blog has been a treat to watch unfold. Your generosity and conviviality shows through the pages. I felt like I was right along side you in your ventures.

Thanks for all your lovingly tendered photos and missives.

Cheers,

Monavano

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Megan, I think that it would be great if we could just give you a head cam and mike set up for whenever you leave your apartment for an outing, or go into the kitchen to make a meal! We could all just watch, every day, as you go about your various food related activities... it would be great fun, and once in awhile you could look down, and we could compare shoes for the day, too! :laugh:

:laugh:

If you gave me a mic, this is what you would hear:

"Damn it, Blocker."

"OK, what should we do next?"

"Ouch. Oh, f*$%."

And a lot of humming and singing. Yes, folks, I talk to myself. A lot. :blush:


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, folks, I talk to myself.  A lot. :blush:

As long as you don't expect a response, you're good to go.

The voice inside my head is usually "la-dee-dah-dee-dah". Not that bad you say? No, but not good if you're holding a very sharp implement.


Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Megan, thank you for this uplifting and lovely blog. My spirits have been very down this week (I lost the orange kitty in my avatar to unknown causes) but your blog is helping to ease the hurt - and that is saying something, since I didn't think anything could.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By chefmd
      My son married a lovely young lady from Yakeshi, Inner Mongolia, China.   Mongolian: ᠶᠠᠠᠠᠰᠢ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ (Ягши хот); Chinese: 牙克石; pinyin: Yákèshí
       
      We had a wedding in the US but her family also wanted to have a traditional wedding in China.  DH and I have never being to China so this was an exciting opportunity for us!  We spent a few days in Beijing doing touristy stuff and then flew to Hailar.  There is only one flight a day on Air China that we took at 6 in the morning.  Yakeshi is about an hour drive from Hailar on a beautiful toll road with no cars on it.  I wish we took pictures of free roaming sheep and cows along the way.  The original free range meat.
       
      The family met us at the airport.  We were greeted with a shot of a traditional Chinese spirit from a traditional leather vessel.  Nothing says welcome like a stiff drink at 9 AM.  We were supposed to have a three shots (may be they were joking) but family took pity on us and limited it to one only.
       

       
    • By Panaderia Canadiense
      Wow, this is my third foodblog for the eGullet….  Welcome!   I'll be with you from Palm Sunday through Holy Sunday to give you all a taste of the veritable food festival that is Easter in Ecuador.  As usual, I intend to eat on the streets, visit a plethora of small shops and vendors, and talk about (and eat copious amounts of ) the specialty dishes of the holiday.
       
      A bit of background on me and where I am.  I'm Elizabeth; I'm 33 years old and since the last foodblog I've ceased to be a Canadian expat in Ecuador, and become a full-fledged Ecuadorian citizen.  I run a catering bakery out of Ambato, and I deliver to clients on the entire mainland.  I've got a large customer base in nearby Baños de Agua Santa, a hot-springs town about an hour downslope of me to the east; I'll be visiting it on Wednesday with close to 100 kg of baked goods for delivery.  Ambato, the capital of Tungurahua province, is located almost exactly in the geographic centre of Ecuador.  It's at an average elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level (slightly higher than Quito, the capital) - but this is measured in the downtown central park, which is significantly lower than most of the rest of the city, which extends up the sides of the river valley and onto the high plain above.  We've got what amounts to eternal late springtime weather, with two well-marked rainy seasons.  Ambato has about 300,000 people in its metro area; it's the fourth largest city in the country.  But maybe the most important thing about Ambato, especially to foodies, is that it's a transport hub for the country.  Anything travelling just about anywhere has to pass through Ambato on the way; it gives us the largest, best-stocked food market in South America.  I have simply staggering variety at my fingertips.
       

       
      This view, which was a teaser for the blog, was taken from my rooftop terrazzo.  It is a fraction of the panorama of the river valley that I see every morning, and since Easter is traditionally somewhat miserable weather-wise, the clouds stick to the hilltops.  The barrio you can see in the middle distance is Ficoa, one of the most luxury districts in the city.  Ambato is notable amongst Ecuadorian cities for having small fruit farms (300-500 m2) still operating within city limits and even within its most established barrios - it's from this that the Ambato gets one of its two sobriquets: The City of Fruits and Flowers.  The tendency for even the poorest barrios to take tremendous pride in their greenspaces gives the other: The Garden City.  My barrio, Miraflores Alto, is a working-class mixture of professors and labourers, and my neighbours keep a mixture of chickens, turkeys, and ducks in their yards; someone down the hill has a cow that I frequently hear but have never seen.  Consequently, if the season is right I can buy duck eggs from my neighbours (and if the season is wrong, entire Muscovy ducks for roasting.)
       

       
      Today, I'll be doing my largest fresh-food shopping at the Mercado Mayorista, the largest market of its kind in South America - this place covers nearly 30 square blocks, and it exists to both buy and sell produce from across the country.  Sundays and Mondays it also opens up to a huge, raucous farmer's market where smaller quantities are available for purchase.  Sunday is the day of the freshest food and the largest number of vendors.  And I'm going to cross more than half the city to get there - I've moved since the last blog, and my new house, on the slopes of the river valley is further away than the old one on the high plain.  I promise to take many pictures of this - particularly close to the High Holy days, the Mayorista is alive with vendors and there will be special sections cordoned off for sales of bacalao, truly enormous squashes, and if it follows the previous years' trends, a festival of Hornado (about which more later).  Apart from mangoes, which are just finishing up their season, it is harvest time across the country, and the Mayorista will be well stocked with all manner of fruits and vegetables.
       

       
      To start us off, I'll demystify one of my teasers a bit.
       

       
      The Minion head that peeks out of my cupboard every day belongs to my jar of ChocoListo, the Ecuadorian equivalent of chocolate Ovaltine.  Since I gave up coffee for Lent, it's my go-to morning beverage.  ChocoListo normally comes in the plain white jar with orange lid that you see in front of the Minion; that's now my hot chocolate jar because I just couldn't resist when the company came out with the specialty jars.  I firmly believe that one is never too old to have whimsical things!
       

    • By therese
      Good morning, y’all, and welcome to the party chez Therese.
      As per the teaser, this week’s foodblog does indeed come to you from Atlanta, where I live with my two children (hereafter known as Girl and Boy) and husband (hereafter known as The Man). Girl is 11, Boy is 14, and The Man is old enough to know better.
      Atlanta’s huge: the total metro population is about 4 million, and there are no physical boundaries to growth like rivers or mountain ranges, so people just keep moving (and commuting) farther and farther out of town. Atlantans can be divided into ITP (inside the perimeter) and OTP (outside the perimeter), the perimeter referring to the interstate freeway that encircles the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods, separating it from outlying suburbs. The politically minded may note that these areas could be designated red and blue. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
      We’re about as ITP as it gets, with home, work, school, and restaurants all in walking distance. The neighborhood’s called Druid Hills, the setting for the play/movie “Driving Miss Daisy”. The houses date from the 1920s, and because Atlanta has so little in the way of “old” buildings the neighborhood’s on the National Register as a Historic District. Charming, sure, buts lots of the houses need some updating, and ours (purchased in 1996) was no exception. So we remodeled last year, including an addition with a new kitchen, and this week’s blog will look at the finished product.
      So, some encouragement for those of you presently involved in kitchen renovation, some ideas for those who are considering it.
      But never mind all that for the moment: What’s for breakfast?


      Dutch babies, that’s what. And even better, these Dutch babies are produced by my children, the aforementioned Girl and Boy. The first picture is right from the oven, the second is after the somewhat messy job of sifting powdered sugar on top. They are delicious (the Dutch babies, I mean, not the children) and a great weekend treat.

      The Man drinks coffee in the morning whereas I prefer tea. He's not up yet, having played poker last night. I'm hoping he makes it out of bed in time for dinner.

      I also eat fruit whereas he prefers, well, anything but fruit. This is not such a bad thing, as it means that I don’t have to share the fruit. Pomegranates are a pain to eat, but not so bad if you’re reading the newspaper at the same time. This one’s from California, but you can also grow them here if you’ve got enough sunshine (which I don’t).
    • By Shelby
      Good morning, everyone and happy Monday!  
       
      It's me again....that girl from Kansas. 
       
       
      This is VERY spur-of-the-moment.  I was sitting here yesterday thinking of all of the canning etc. that I needed to do this week and I thought, well, why not ask you guys if you want to spend the week with me while I do it?  I got the ok from Smithy so away we go!
       
      This will not be nearly as organized as my first blog was.  But, really, when does a sequel ever measure up to the first?     
       
      Most of you know all about me--if you missed my first blog you can read it here.
       
      Nothing much has changed around here.  Same furry babies, same house, same husband  .
       
      Right now we have field corn planted all around the house.  In the outer fields we have soybeans that were planted after the wheat was harvested.  Sorry for the blur....it was so humid the camera kept fogging up.
       

       
      I just came in from the garden.
       
      I snapped a few pictures....for more (and prettier) pictures you can look in the gardening thread.  I always start out saying that I will not let a weed grow in there.  By August I'm like..."Oh what's a few weeds" lol.
       
       
       
      Here's a total list of what I planted this year:
       
      7 cucumbers
      8 basil
      23 okra
      4 rows assorted lettuce
      20 peppers-thai, jalapeño, bell, banana
      4 rows peas
      5 cilantro
      1 tarragon
      2 dill
      many many red and white onions
      7 eggplant
      3 rows spinach
      57 tomatoes
      5 cherry tomatoes
      7 rows silver queen sweet corn
      11 squash
      4 watermelon
      2 cantaloupe
      6 pumpkin
       
      I killed the cantaloupes...and I tried damn hard to kill the squash lol.....sigh...squash bugs came early this year and we sprayed with some kind of stuff.  WOW the plants did not like it, but they've come back and are producing.
       


      I just love okra flowers

      Found some more smut   
       

       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Pille
      Tere õhtust (that’s „Good evening“ in Estonian)!
      I’m very, very, very excited to be doing my first ever eGullet foodblog. Foodblogging as such is not new to me – I’ve been blogging over at Nami-nami since June 2005, and am enjoying it enormously. But this eGullet blog is very different in format, and I hope I can ’deliver’. There have been so many exciting and great food blogs over the years that I've admired, so the standard is intimidatingly high! Also, as I’m the first one ever blogging from Estonia, I feel there’s a certain added responsibility to ’represent’ my tiny country
      A few words about me: my name is Pille, I’m 33, work in academia and live with my boyfriend Kristjan in a house in Viimsi, a suburb just outside Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I was born and schooled in Tallinn until I was 18. Since then I've spent a year in Denmark as an exchange student, four years studing in Tartu (a university town 180 km south), two years working in Tallinn and seven years studying and working in Edinburgh, the bonnie & cosmopolitan capital of Scotland. All this has influenced my food repertoire to a certain degree, I'm sure. I moved back home to Estonia exactly 11 months and 1 day ago, to live with Kristjan, and I haven't regretted that decision once Edinburgh is an amazing place to live, and I've been back to Scotland twice since returning, but I have come to realise that Tallinn is even nicer than Edinburgh
      I won’t be officially starting my foodblog until tomorrow (it’s midnight here and I’m off to bed), but I thought I’ll re-post the teaser photos for those of you who missed them in the 'Upcoming Attractions' section. There were two of them. One was a photo of Tallinn skyline as seen from the sea (well, from across the bay in this case):

      This is known as kilukarbivaade or sprat can skyline A canned fish product, sprats (small Baltic herrings in a spicy marinade) used to have a label depicting this picturesque skyline. I looked in vain for it in the supermarket the other day, but sadly couldn’t find one - must have been replaced with a sleek & modern label. So you must trust my word on this sprat can skyline view
      The second photo depicted a loaf of our delicious rye bread, rukkileib. As Snowangel already said, it’s naturally leavened sour 100% rye bread, and I’ll be showing you step-by-step instructions for making it later during the week.

      It was fun seeing your replies to Snowangel’s teaser photos. All of you got the continent straight away, and I was pleased to say that most of you got the region right, too (that's Northern Europe then). Peter Green’s guess Moscow was furthest away – the capital of Russia is 865 km south-east from here (unfortunately I've never had a chance to visit that town, but at least I've been to St Petersburgh couple of times). Copenhagen is a wee bit closer with 836 km, Stockholm much closer with 386 km. Dave Hatfield (whose rural French foodblog earlier this year I followed with great interest, and whose rustic apricot tart was a huge hit in our household) was much closer with Helsinki, which is just 82 km across the sea to the north. The ships you can see on the photo are all commuting between Helsinki and Tallinn (there’s an overnight ferry connection to Stockholm, too). Rona Y & Tracey guessed the right answer
      Dave – that house isn’t a sauna, but a granary (now used to 'store' various guests) - good guess, however! Sauna was across the courtyard, and looks pretty much the same, just with a chimney The picture is taken in July on Kassari in Hiiumaa/Dagö, one of the islands on the west coast. Saunas in Estonia are as essential part of our life – and lifestyle – as they are in Finland. Throwing a sauna party would guarantee a good turnout of friends any time
      Finally, a map of Northern Europe, so you’d know exactly where I’m located:

      Head ööd! [Good night!]
      I'm off to bed now, but will be back soon. And of course, if there are any questions, however specific or general, then 'll do my best trying to answer them!
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.